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chong

Winter Tire Thread

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I haven't seen one of these threads for 2016 yet. What is everyone running in the winter? I'll confess that I'm not a Ford guy, but I am a Subaru guy and starting around this time of year the Subaru forums get packed with winter tire threads. We might as well start one that everyone can use.

On my Subaru's I run Blizzak WS70 tires (WS70 has been discontinued in favor of the WS80 model). This is Bridgestone's "studless ice & snow" model. These tires are designed for deep snow and ice covered roads. They give up a bit on cold and dry roads, but I choose to make this tradeoff because I'm a skier and if its pounding down snow, I want to be in the car going to the hill. To that end, I tell people that I run snow tires on my cars because I want to go the speed limit year round. Coming to Ann Arbor from the UP (where it snows 300" per year on average), I'm quite comfortable driving in the snow. I actually quite enjoy it.

I have a set of WS70s with only 2 seasons on them that I plan to run. Unfortunately, I need to get new rims. Subaru Wheel Spec is 5x100 and the Transit appears to run 5x108 (so close).

So, what does everyone else run? If you have any questions, I'd say ask them here. I'm not an expert, by far, but I'm sure we have some knowledgable folks in the community.

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I had WS70 for one winter, too soft for me. Really mushy handling.

So right now I have the following (usually swap late November and back in March):

TC 2012: Kumho WinterCraft WI31 studdable, I run them without.
Toyota: Kumho I'ZEN KW22 studded.

Both within acceptable handling and wear limits.

No winter tires for my Ecoboost yet.

PS: Nokian is Finnish.

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Totally agree on the mushy handling on the WS70, but I initially started running them on my Subaru WRX. Those tires, on that car, can launch in a foot of snow like it was dry pavement. I'll run them on the TC because I currently have a set. I'll probably look for something more suited for Southeast Michigan commuting after I wear out the Blizzaks. It doesn't really snow here so the mushy tires are overkill.

I've never gotten a good feel from the Subaru forums, but does anyone have any experience with Green Diamond Tires?

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The first set of winters are Continental winter contacts. I have a general preference for Nokian winter tires and that what the next set will be.

My last set of Nokian's were made in Russia 

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12 hours ago, mrtn said:

TC 2012: Kumho WinterCraft WI31 studdable, I run them without.
Toyota: Kumho I'ZEN KW22 studded.

 

You like the Korean tires.  Interesting.  Kumho is from Korea, right?  A few years back, I noticed Hankook appearing as the OEM tire on Fords.  They were really inexpensive at the time, so I ended up with a set on my truck.  In my local climate, we get heavy rain.  I have fishtailed, but I don't know if that was the tires, or me.  I've slammed on the brakes hard, and each time, I was able to come to a stop whereby avoiding a collision.  But drilled and slotted rotors probably helped just as much as the traction.  Great on construction jobsites with loose gravel, dirt, mud, and uneven surfaces.  I never lost traction or got stuck in the snow.  And I've never had a problem driving through the park in soft dirt, soil, or driving across athletic fields with wet grass.  I haven't had the opportunity to take my truck onto the beach yet, so no feedback on sand (wet or dry).  I suspect that the most my transit connect will see is wet highways from rainfall, and roads serviced with snow removal equipment with chains on the tires.  And maybe not even snow country since I would rather have my truck up there.  But it will be interesting to read about, and hopefully view photos, of good tires and where it could take this little front wheel drive van.

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I still have just the stock OEM tires and ran them through last winter in northern Illinois/Chicagoland. Wasn't really impressed with them, but they were decent enough for OEM all-season tires. Two winters ago, I had a 2003 Mustang GT and ended up putting some Blizzaks on it from Craigslist about half-way through the winter - night & day difference compared to whatever tires were on it (some "all-season high-performance" that were really summer tires).

Anyhow, I'm hoping to move to Texas before winter hits this year, but I'm going to start watching Craigslist soon for a good deal on winter tires in the TC size just in case I don't get out quickly enough. I'm mostly Finnish myself and I'd like to have Nokian Hakkapeliitta tires (headquartered in Nokia, Finland - also home of Nokia phones). Finland has like 6-8 months of winter, so they have plenty of experience with making good snow tires. Which is why all series of Hakkepaliitta tires are rated so highly - although expensive...

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Tervehdys, jrm223! We have a very simlar climate to Finland (being just 50 miles South. Nokians are very popular over here.

I was just at my regular tire shop today for an oil change and asked for the latest suggessions for my needs - long lasting, good grip on ice and relatively hard compound (I drive south frequently). They recommended Michelin Alpin A5, so I'm gonna try them out. Around $/€100 a piece, not bad for a quality product. 

They also showed me Michelin's new All-Season tire CrossClimate. Supposedly the first all-season tire they would ever recommend. 50K mile lifetime and a severe snow service symbol which means good grip in actual snow. Not good for use on plain ice. 

Edited by mrtn
typo

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The  Nokian WR D4  is worth a look. I have had lot of Nokian tires  on multiple vehicles and they have all been top performers in the Winter Driving  arena .

 

 

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Ditched the Michelins, too soft. Bought Kumho KW31:

kw31.jpg
 

Hard enough for warm weather, it's now around freezing point (+4..-4°C), good directional stability, defined center point. Come snow.

Edited by mrtn

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I have been driving on plain ole all season tires since 2012 in the little bit of snow we get here in NC. But I finally met that one slick spot that was meant for me Friday night on my way home from my route. After 10 inches of snow I finally started to have a few issues with the light rear end wanting to kick around. Wound up putting me in the median and would not come out. Got to use the tow hook ford provided and it worked great. Now I am researching snow tires for the workhorse. Good thing I kept all 4 of the OEM steel wheels.   :)

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Went down and measured my Blizzaks and found them to only have 3/32" of tread left. They are practically on the wear bars. I'm going to give the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 a go this time. On paper, they look to be quite awesome. Can't wait for the snow!

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I have had several sets of Nokian  winter tires  They are very good winter tires. They are on the soft side but really good winter tires.

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Hopefully I won't have to drive the TC in the snow so I decided to put Cooper Weather-Master ST2s on the 03 Outback instead. Should be virtually unstoppable. If by chance I should slide into the ditch, better to do it with the 15 year old vehicle instead of a brand new one. Its been my experience that vans generally don't really handle that well in the snow.

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57 minutes ago, OLDSCHOOLFOOL said:

Its been my experience that vans generally don't really handle that well in the snow.

 

Mk1 handles snow better than most SUVs. Extremely well balanced, good ground clearance and directional stability (apart from side wind).

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I put nokian hakkapelitta 7 with a 60 aspect ratio sidewall I think.  They have been good so far.  I mostly got them because they had a 100 rebate, figured they would be a few years old but the production date was only 2016 if I recall correctly.

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I think that some cars are better than others,  but the more snow driving experience you have the better the cars seem to drive.

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The driver can make all the difference in the world.  The right driver behind the wheel, and you would think it's a different car altogether.

Related image

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Just picked up 4 Nokian Nordman 7 in 205/65 15. Never had any trouble with the all season tires till after 10 inches of snow back in January of this year put me in the ditch. Have to wait and see how these work out for me. 

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On ‎12‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 9:47 PM, G B L said:

I think that some cars are better than others,  but the more snow driving experience you have the better the cars seem to drive.

That's very true. I've driven a lot of different ones in the snow, rwd, fwd awd, trucks, suvs, station wagons, vans, school buses, even a logging truck once. Not many would hold a candle to the Outback although one of the best was an old 1970 VW Beetle. That thing would just chug along like there was no snow. Until this year I've never even owned a snow tire before. They're kind of over-kill here in Va. but sometimes I have wished I had them.

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5 minutes ago, OLDSCHOOLFOOL said:

Until this year I've never even owned a snow tire before. They're kind of over-kill here in Va. but sometimes I have wished I had them.

 

Then again, it’s a really cheap add-on for the added safety and convinience.

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2 hours ago, mrtn said:

 

Then again, it’s a really cheap add-on for the added safety and convinience.

Indeed it is. Worth every nickel in peace of mind alone.

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I am so lucky to live in a snow free zone.

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13 hours ago, Fifty150 said:

I am so lucky to live in a snow free zone.

I guess it's what you're used to  -  We never have snow either, but I think I would trade 6 or 8 weeks of that for your bumper to bumper traffic 24/7 365

 

Don

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If you have the right equipment dealing with the snow is just another thing. 

Not having to worry about a wildfire or a major drought is a definite plus.

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